Are Silicone Breast Implants Safe?
In the last decade, particularly in North America there has been some controversy about whether silicone can cause various diseases. Certain well conducted studies, including those conducted by an independent government review body, have demonstrated that silicone breast implants are safe and there is no evidence to suggest that they cause autoimmune disease.
Breast implants can, however, interfere with standard mammography as they may obscure some of the underlying breast tissue. It is important that you inform your radiologist that you have implants before having a mammogram as the technique could be slightly modified to improve the sensitivity of the mammogram.
What are Breast Implant Made Of?
Most breast implants are made of silicone, the outer shell is designed with a silicone elastomer and is filled with silicone gel or saline (salt water) or a combination of both (adjustable dual chamber implant). The present day cohesive silicone gel implants have a soft consistency similar to natural breast tissue and have the added benefit of not dispersing into tissues in the event of implant rupture. Saline filled implants tend to have the firmer unnatural feel and have a higher tendency to ripple (visible movement of fluid beneath the skin) or wrinkle (visible fold of implant shell).
What Shapes Implants Are There?
The breast implants are available in round or teardrop (anatomical) shape. They also come in low medium, high and extra-high projections. Round implants generally give a proud cleavage and terse breasts while teardrop implants impart a more natural look to the breasts.
Silicon is a naturally occurring element and is found in sand, quartz and rock. It is currently been used in a variety of products including suntan lotions, moisturizing creams and various medical devices.